Bail Assessment, Support and Supervision Program (BASSP)
(Note: These services are currently being revised and are subject to change.)
Our Bail Assessment, Support & Supervision Program (BASSP) opened its doors in March of 2012. BASSP provides men with an opportunity to remain in or return to the community while awaiting trial or sentencing. Clients who would otherwise not receive bail have another option besides waiting in custody.
Given that in Canada we have the right of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, our bail program is designed not to address the current charges our clients face, but what the court deems to be their risk to breach bail condition factors such as lack of stable housing, employment, education, addictions, and mental health issues.
Being granted bail for their pre-trial period allows our clients to benefit from the support and programming offered in the community and gives them the chance to address issues that will help them move forward in pro-social ways.
We have found that judges, even if our clients are found guilty, look favourably on men who have been living in the community prior to their sentencing, attending programs, working, going to school, and being involved in the lives of their children, partners and families.
So far, the majority of the clients who have remained in the program until sentencing receive absolute discharges or community sentences. Our goal is to help our clients break the cycle of arrest/incarceration and make positive changes in their lives.
All referrals to our program must be initiated by a lawyer.
We work with up to 75 adult men who have been charged with an offense and who are deemed by the courts to pose a risk to re-offend and/or fail to comply with their bail conditions.
Our very first client was one of our biggest success stories, living in the community, working, and attending AA meetings. He never missed a curfew and when he appeared in front of a judge he was given an absolute discharge. To date, 74 clients have successfully remained with BASSP until their trial or sentencing.